Rives E. Worrell Co., a JE Dunn Construction Company, held its annual Minority Contractor Business Development (MCBD) Program graduation last Friday for eight area companies. The program, which first began in Savannah in 2011, provides a venue for minority- and woman owned firms in construction related fields to participate in a training program to enhance business acumen and interpersonal and relationship building skills.
The companies that graduated from the MCBD program included: Atlantic Building Construction, Cyntechs, Eady Construction, Inc., Home Assistance Unlimited, Inc., Jet Cox Creative Production & Construction, PT Construction, Inc., RLM Masonry, Inc., and Unlimited Masonry Construction, Inc.
“American small businesses — 6 million of which are minority-owned — are an important component of, and major contributor to, the strength of local economies. They generate 64 percent of new jobs and have paid 44 percent of the total United States private payroll since 1995,” said Cherelle Cortez, diversity manager. “It is our goal to level the playing field and partner with small, minority-owned businesses, and I am pleased to recognize these graduating companies for their outstanding achievements.”
Since the start of the MCBD program, Rives E. Worrell Co. has awarded 24 projects totaling more than $23 million to local minority- and woman owned businesses. More than $9 million of that went to MCBD program partic- ipants. One such MCBD program graduate, Cyntechs Executive Director Barry Crocker, considers himself the “poster child” of the MCBD program.
“Not only did I learn a lot about the construction industry, but about business in general. Since then, my business has grown by leaps and bounds,” Crocker said. “As a result, I have been able to partner with Rives E. Worrell and other companies on large projects, most recently the Hesse school project.
As a small business owner, it is critical that my partnership with Rives E. Worrell and other construction companies continues to grow.”
Graduates were recognized with a certificate and heard a keynote speech from Tanya Milton, vice president and advertising director of The Savannah Tribune. Milton began her newspaper career as a high school student selling advertising for the Oracle at Windsor Forest High School. In addition to the Savannah Tribune, she has also worked in advertising with The Detroit Free Press, Kansas City Star and Times, and Savannah Morning News.
“Throughout my career, I had many people who encouraged me and mentored me, but the true key to success is happiness,” Milton said. “If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”